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Old 04-21-2015, 07:45 AM   #1
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Here's one to make you laugh (true story)

A friend sent found this email from me when she was sorting out her email account. It'ss a bit out of date as it happened a couple of years ago before I moved house. I was living in one of those Victorian terraced cottages which have a communal walkway at the back from which anyone can see into the back yards of the houses. Non-Brits may need to know that council tax is a tax paid by the residents of houses to cover services funded by the council. Bear in mind I was in my early 60s at the time.

"I was at home this am when there was a hammering on the door. Man from the council on doorstop with clipboard and ID. Informed me that they had evidence that I was getting the single person's discount on my council tax fraudulently! He didn't actually say that I was destined for hard labour on Dartmoor but that was the definite implication.

Ok says I, I don't have to let you in but come in anyway and look round. Sitting room full of boxes of Ma's stuff. Took him upstairs. Invited him into the front, spare bedroom. Also full of Ma's and my stuff - can't see bed or even get to it. Took him into my room - single bed, room minute. Suggested he look under the bed. He blustered a bit and said they had had the house under observation "for some time" and they had irrefutable evidence.

None of my neighbours would be bothered inventing stories as most of them don't know me anyway so what evidence exactly?

Wait for it.....

The wrong sort of underwear had been seen repeatedly on my washing line. I gawped at him and asked what sort of underwear should there be on my line?

Apparently it was the sort of underwear that younger women wear so there must be a younger woman living in my house. "Old women" (like me, presumably) don't wear underwear like that.

(Before you run away with the idea that I wear the sort of peculiar undergarments that used to be advertised in the News of the World and delivered in a plain brown package I should say that it's merely a bit lacy and fairly colourful but definitely more Marks & Spencer than Dita von Tease)

I gave up when he asked me whose underwear it was then and asked him if he'd like me to remove my tee shirt and let him see my underwear. He panicked, said there'd been a mistake and scuttled off.

Thinking of writing, tongue in cheek, to the Finance Dept to ask if they can send me a list of what is considered suitable underwear for a respectable elderly spinster living alone."
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:26 AM   #2
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And why didn't you write that letter? You could have signed it "The Old Hussy"

Gee, the only comment I ever had on my wash hanging outside was how neat it was always hung. Diapers all hung together, baby shirts, my husbands undershorts, etc.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:23 AM   #3
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I'm impressed "a respectable elderly spinster" knows who Dita von Tease is. . I wish I had a clothes line. It takes so long to dry my boxers when I run them up the flag pole one pair at a time.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:58 AM   #4
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Good one MC! I'm in mid-50s but I still wear colorful and lacy undies.

Whiska, I'd like to see a picture of that.
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:09 AM   #5
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Someone was having you on and the ID was probably fake .
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:40 PM   #6
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I'm impressed "a respectable elderly spinster" knows who Dita von Tease is. . I wish I had a clothes line. It takes so long to dry my boxers when I run them up the flag pole one pair at a time.

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Old 04-21-2015, 02:25 PM   #7
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Someone was having you on and the ID was probably fake .
No, it wasn't. At the time the council was clamping down on defaulters.
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:57 PM   #8
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Good story MC.

I have heard that in parts of New England, they hang underwear inside of pillow cases when drying on the line.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:42 PM   #9
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Good story MC.

I have heard that in parts of New England, they hang underwear inside of pillow cases when drying on the line.
That is a new one on me. I never hung underwear inside a pillow case. I hung them right out there for all the neighbors to see. Both my husbands wore boxer shorts. And all I ever bought for both of them were blue ones. I think if I changed the color, the neighbor would think there was a milkman delivering more than milk.
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Old 04-22-2015, 03:03 PM   #10
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MC it sounds like an urban myth :-) I worked for a local authority for 30 years and this method of investigation is completely new to me . Plus, you let a strange man claiming to be from the Council, into your home and offered to take off your clothes and show him your underwear ?

Seriously ?

Oh well , whatever floats your boat ...... :-)
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:38 PM   #11
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No, it wasn't. At the time the council was clamping down on defaulters.
I can completely understand where it all started. It is possible that the neighbors were aware of your mother's passing and not aware that her daughter had moved in. They could have jumped to the conclusion of a younger person that may have been or not, a relative moving in. We have a lot of that here with Section 8. That is a housing program for lower income people who can't afford the extremely high rents with the Government paying part of it for them. Folks hide the true amount of their income, or when a member moves out, (husband) or fail to report when they get a raise, etc. Some woman will state more children than they really have, or that their husband has been among the missing since he (so called) walked out on the family. It is not, like the Food Stamp Program, a perfect solution. But without Section 8, there would be a lot more homeless families here in Boston.

But you can bet that there is always a neighbor who loves nothing better than to see what is going on in every home but their own. And just a whiff of wrong doing, will report it to the authorities.

So much to the dismay of one of your neighbors, they are going to be going to bed very disappointed. I can't help but wonder if they gave their name when you were reported and the Council will get back to them with what the truth is.

Now you should buy yourself some men's boxer shorts and use them for dust clothes and other cleaning. Then toss them in the laundry and hang them out. That will really give your neighbor's something to talk about with their afternoon tea.
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:58 AM   #12
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My point is that there are different methods of surveillance and it would be over a prolonged period and then evidence would be presented . The case would be investigated and either acted upon based in the evidence gathered, or closed and the person being investigated would be notified of the outcome in writing , nobody scuttles off .........
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:21 AM   #13
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MC it sounds like an urban myth :-) I worked for a local authority for 30 years and this method of investigation is completely new to me . Plus, you let a strange man claiming to be from the Council, into your home and offered to take off your clothes and show him your underwear ?

Seriously ?

Oh well , whatever floats your boat ...... :-)
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My point is that there are different methods of surveillance and it would be over a prolonged period and then evidence would be presented . The case would be investigated and either acted upon based in the evidence gathered, or closed and the person being investigated would be notified of the outcome in writing , nobody scuttles off .........
Since we don't know exactly how long ago this was or in what town this happened in...I would say MC has a clue about what she is talking about. Different towns, different councils and things handled differently.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:27 AM   #14
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MC very funny, had a nice laugh for early in the morning.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:29 AM   #15
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Good story MC.

I have heard that in parts of New England, they hang underwear inside of pillow cases when drying on the line.
My Grandmother used to hang sheets on the outside lines and her unmentionables were pinned to the inside lines.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:34 AM   #16
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Since we don't know exactly how long ago this was or in what town this happened in...I would say MC has a clue about what she is talking about. Different towns, different councils and things handled differently.
Exactly. And she did say one time that she lives on a very small island right off the coast.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:42 AM   #17
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My Grandmother used to hang sheets on the outside lines and her unmentionables were pinned to the inside lines.
LOL!! We used to pin two pair of undies with one pin, didn't look like undies then.

Oh I so want a place with a clothesline!!!
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:14 AM   #18
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Good story MC.

I have heard that in parts of New England, they hang underwear inside of pillow cases when drying on the line.
My mother never hung underwear outside. Always on a drying rack in the bath tub. To her they were truly unmentionables.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:28 AM   #19
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My Grandmother used to hang sheets on the outside lines and her unmentionables were pinned to the inside lines.
I always had lines on a pulley between buildings. And you always hung the shortest ones out on the very beginning. So they wouldn't flab against the building. There is a science to hanging clothes out on a line. The biggest one were hung in the middle. They weighed the most and would pull the line down so the wind wouldn't wind them around the upper rope.

I remember we had a neighbor who was pregnant. We all found out when she had the baby by the clothes on the line and whether it was a boy or girl. BTW, it was a girl. The next time all of us were quite surprised. She had twins. One of each. So much for reading laundry.

Hey maybe I could get a job as a Neighborhood Medium. Just by reading laundry on the line. Of course I would be not working in the middle of winter. Everyone uses their dryers. Except my dingbat daughter. If the sun is shining she will use her clothesline. Her dryer got a lot of use this winter.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:30 AM   #20
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LOL!! We used to pin two pair of undies with one pin, didn't look like undies then.

Oh I so want a place with a clothesline!!!
I am with you there PF. Big Time!!! Will never happen here. Maybe I should send a load up to my daughter's house. She has a nice long line.
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